Our plans for the day were to first, attend a culture festival early and then catch a Cincinnati Reds baseball game later in the day. I knew what to expect with the baseball game. There was sure to be excitement and fulfilling entertainment. But I was unsure about the festival. Would it be beneficial or would it be an over exaggeration of the cultural qualities and traditions it was seeking to portray? This tension remained until we finally arrived at the park, paid, and began surveying the setup. After walking through the first few booths and displays, I thought to myself and was convinced, “This is going to be a worthwhile experience and a good morning.”
The Appalachian Festival this year was going on its 44th occasion. It was held along the Ohio River at Coney Island, which is only about 18 minutes from Cincinnati. The downtown skyline was in view moments before we exited the highway, while making our way to the park.
Some may wonder about the connection between Cincinnati, Ohio, and an Appalachian Festival. For this to be the 44th annual festival tells of a much deeper story than simply an attempt to celebrate a not so distant and “quaint” regional neighbor. There is history here that one blog post would fail to properly and thoroughly recount. Therefore, a brief introduction to the historical situation is in line, which will probably stretch over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures taken from the event and a short video clip introducing Appalachia’s great outmigration to northern and midwestern urban centers, taken from the documentary The Appalachians.